Educating illegal immigrants is not a waste of money

March 23, 2011

I was surprised at the number of readers who wrote in to show their dismay at a bill that would give children of illegal immigrants in-state tuition at Maryland colleges. One reader went as far as to compare Maryland state lawmakers to Charlie Sheen. There were some readers who wrote in saying that we should "deport" these people instead of educate them. Others simply said they were criminals on whom we should not be spending any of our tax money.

The apprehension these authors displayed is more of a testament to their intolerance than to their political leaning. The overwhelming theme from these naysayers was this: "My" tax money should not be used to promote the advancement of illegal immigrants.

Helping people advance themselves and possibly reach the "American dream" is not affordable to the taxpayer? I'm appalled that my taxes are being used to fund three gruesome wars to which I am deeply opposed. I'm appalled that my taxes are used to finance the trials of murderers and rapists right before they get sentenced and end up getting three warm meals a day (all on my dime)!

Yet most people do not seem so opposed to their tax money being wasted on a controversial war, or on a felon's lengthy and expensive trial. I believe pure xenophobia has brought out the worst in us. Let's not forget that these "illegals" are people first and illegal immigrants second. Maybe if we end the selfishness we can restore this country's position as the "beacon of light" it once was.

Gregory Prush, Pikesville

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